Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Brown Eyed Loathsome Man

The situation that we're in both economically and politically is, as we all know, far from good. However, would the country be in much better shape if T. Blair were still in charge, or David Cameron or even Nick Clegg? The answer is almost definitely not. Naturally there would be differences in the detail but the big picture would likely be unchanged. Which naturally brings me on to Gordon Brown.

His political collateral is now completely washed up. The news that Labour MP Joan Ryan, and a vice chair of the party, has joined the junior whip, Siobhain McDonagh, in asking for voting papers on a leadership contest has further undermined the PM's position. All this has happened for one simple reason. It’s because not just the country but large sections of the Parliamentary Labour Party have lost confidence in Brown as a leader. Politics is like so much of life, whether it’s sport or business, or whatever else – there is an absolute need for leadership; particularly in tricky times. There's also something else that is a given and that’s respect. Day by day, inch-by-inch respect for Gordon Brown is ebbing away.

The PM has constantly talked about his vision, his hopes for our society, for the country, Britishness, and all these other things that all sound terribly good when spoken about but mean nothing when nothing actually happens. Gordon Brown for all his talk just does not cut it as a leader; his rhetoric is hollow. It’s quite natural for us to not particular like our leaders, but respect, even grudging respect, has to be there. In Brown’s case people positively don’t like the man. All the talk of his violent rages, his nastiness, his focused dislike for people undermines his position. We’re reaching the tipping point when something will have to give. I believe we long ago passed the tipping point of Brown being able to somehow pull a political rabbit out of the hat.

Nick Robinson called the actions of Joan Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh, along with their unnamed colleagues who may or may not have asked for election papers, “a peasants revolt.” The original peasant’s revolt in 1381 had a certain Jack Straw as one of its leaders; was Nick Robinson alluding to a similar scenario today? The original peasants revolt was considered a failure but it did cause an end to the term poll tax being used. Margaret Thatcher is to most Labour party members and lifelong voters an anathema, particularly because of her association with the 2oth Century Poll Tax. Gordon Brown will become a similar object of derision for Conservatives and those who vote labour out at the next election. He will become the man whose legacy will keep Labour out of power for years to come. No matter what happens he’ll be the Brown eyed loathsome man.


Colin Campbell said...

Watching from afar, it seems that a leadership contest would be healthy even if it had no bearing on the next election outcome.

Surely anybody else would be better in rallying the troops and setting a new agenda.

James Higham said...

Brown must look to not overstay once this sort of thing goes on.

Anonymous said...

I think the rot set in long before Brown took the reins. Many people lost any remaining confidence they had in (New) Labour with the invasion of Iraq (on a totally false premise) and Blair's cosying to Bush.
Hell mend them.